A group of Polish parents, one of them from Ridgewood, have come together to create an online page to help families in need.
In February, there was a need to help raise funds for a sick child from Poland who was suffering from eye cancer and was undergoing an expensive treatment in New York City. Out of that need a new online volunteer group, called Polish Parents Pomagaja (PPP), was created based on the popular and fast-growing social group Polish Parents, which has been in existence for two years and is a place where parents can exchange parental advice and ideas.
Martyna Florczak of Ridgewood, along with Dorota Mishra, Marta Godlewska and Justyna Kubińska, coordinate all of PPP’s charity activities including the background checks, research and selection of the cases, prioritizing based on need, and coordinating the financial and material help through fundraising, organizing yard sales, creating online auctions in the group and helping to open crowdfunding accounts.
In many instances, PPP helps people who have been denied help by other foundations or groups. In only nine months, PPP raised $300,000 for several families facing financial hardships and has grown to more than 5,000 volunteers.
Recently, the group decided to help a 24-year-old named Radek who has cerebral palsy and severe autism, and his mom Gosia who suffers from thrombophilia, a condition in which the blood has an increased tendency to form clots. Due to Radek’s and his mother’s illnesses, the family was in need of a double electric wheelchair so that they would not confined to their small apartment.
A large portion of the family’s budget goes to helping treat Radek’s condition, and often Gosia has to choose between buying the medications for Radek or herself. The family has been fundraising to help purchase the double electric wheelchair for two years now, netting only $300. Radek and his mother were about to give up hope, but this is where PPP stepped in.
After Gosia met Mishra, Godlewska, Florczak and Kubińska online, PPP took up their case. Within two weeks, the group raised over $3,000 toward the purchase of the wheelchairs.
“Nowadays, helping is easier than ever and everyone can help someone,” the women said. “Sometimes all you have to do is go online. Just follow your heart and be a good person and miracles will happen. Good always comes back to you. It’s that simple.”